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Thread: Liquid solar pool

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    Liquid solar pool

    There are liquid products out ther that claim to heat your pool around five degrees. Has anybody used these and if so do they work?

    Thanks!

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    no-mas's Avatar
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Welcome to the forum

    The general consensus on the forum is that they retain heat marginally, and not at all in windy conditions. The thought of a layer of paraffin, or whatever is in these pills, floating on the surface of my pool would be enough to keep me from wanting to go swimming at all. Just my 2 cents, though.

    I can't leave without throwing out a "Go Gators!", though
    18k gal inground, everbrite finish, 505 sq ft; 1.5 hp two speed whisperflow; rheem 5100ti 100k btu heat pump; 3 sheer descent falls; DE filter; swg (cell out and using trichlor for now)

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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Thanks for the post.

    I thought the same thing about having a layer of whatever floating on my water and me swimming in it.

    I guess as long as it isn't football season we can be friends.

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    no-mas's Avatar
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Quote Originally Posted by myvols2002
    ....I guess as long as it isn't football season we can be friends.
    deal
    18k gal inground, everbrite finish, 505 sq ft; 1.5 hp two speed whisperflow; rheem 5100ti 100k btu heat pump; 3 sheer descent falls; DE filter; swg (cell out and using trichlor for now)

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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    the liquid solar work very well. they dont so much help heat up the pool like a solar cover but on hot summer days and when it cools down at night it helps keep that heat into the pool. ive had them in my pool and ive sold lots of them at the place i work at. Leslies pools and spas have product called solar pill and also a solar fish and they work great. the film ontop of the pool from personal use you cant fill it at all.
    Jacob Zaluski, Owner
    True Blue Pools LLC. Lexington, KY
    Service Center for Hayward Pool Products

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    uncfan1573, welcome to TFP!
    Quote Originally Posted by uncfan1573
    the liquid solar work very well
    You must be very lucky. Before you, I have only heard from a single person who had anything better than very marginal success with the liquid solar "blankets" and I have heard from dozens of people who were very disappointed. Not everyone notices the thin layer of oily liquid they put on the surface of the pool, but some people notice it right away and many of them find it annoying.

    Most heat loss is through evaporation. The liquid solar blankets prevent evaporation by putting a thin layer of a special liquid on top of the water which does not evaporate. As long as that layer remains intact they work fairly well. But it doesn't take much of a breeze to disrupt the surface layer and expose water, which then evaporates just like always. Reports of heat gain with the liquid blankets vary between no gain at all and a couple of degrees, depending on how breezy an area the pool is in. Solid covers, on the other hand, seem to consistently get between five and ten degrees (if they are actually put on). Of course a solid cover is much more of a pain to use.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Quote Originally Posted by uncfan1573
    the liquid solar work very well. they dont so much help heat up the pool like a solar cover but on hot summer days and when it cools down at night it helps keep that heat into the pool. ive had them in my pool and ive sold lots of them at the place i work at. Leslies pools and spas have product called solar pill and also a solar fish and they work great. the film ontop of the pool from personal use you cant fill it at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by no-mas

    The general consensus on the forum is that they retain heat marginally, and not at all in windy conditions. The thought of a layer of paraffin, or whatever is in these pills, floating on the surface of my pool would be enough to keep me from wanting to go swimming at all. Just my 2 cents, though.
    I will reiterate and agree with No-Mas' posting- the best and most cost effective method for retaining heat is a traditional solar blanket. In fact aside from your post, I've only seen perhaps one or two posts that attest to the usefulness of the products you mentioned.

    Jason beat me to the punch...
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    if you dont want to go with the solar pills or the hard to use solar cover. there are products called solar sun rings and bring in more btus than the solid solar covers and they are magneticaly held together and alot easier to put on and to take off. the down side is they are more expensive up front. but can be cheaper in the long run for example if u get a hole in you big solar cover you have to replace the entire cover. but with the solar sun rings you can just replace one.

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    Jacob Zaluski, Owner
    True Blue Pools LLC. Lexington, KY
    Service Center for Hayward Pool Products

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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Pills, solar fish, whatever the form factor are mostly mineral oil. They tend to gunk up filters, leave residue deposits on walls at the water line and as was stated earlier, once the surface is disrupted, evaporation continues until the dispenser releases more. My recommendation is to avoid them.

    Scott
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Quote Originally Posted by uncfan1573
    if you dont want to go with the solar pills or the hard to use solar cover. there are products called solar sun rings and bring in more btus than the solid solar covers and they are magneticaly held together and alot easier to put on and to take off. the down side is they are more expensive up front. but can be cheaper in the long run for example if u get a hole in you big solar cover you have to replace the entire cover. but with the solar sun rings you can just replace one.

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    Solar rings have been reported to bunch up in one corner or blow out of the pool on windy days.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Solar rings have been reported to bunch up in one corner or blow out of the pool on windy days.
    Not that I think the rings are worth it, but just to be fair, a stiff wind will blow my bubble-wrap cover out as well. In fact there was one storm this winter where it pretty much got rolled up! That was entertaining to undo... but for most normal breezes, the bubble wrap basically stays in place.
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    I'll throw in my 2 cents here also. Last spring I tried the Solar Pill. Even when the weather was calm and with the heater running, my overnight heat loss was tremendous. With the heater running 24/7, my net gain over any 24 hour period was less than 1 degree, until the overnight lows got above about 60 and daytime highs got into the upper 70s. I also didn't notice a significant difference after I stopped using them.

    The oil itself on the surface was not an issue. None of us noticed it. I'm not sure how much it contributed to the filtering problems I ran into later in the year. In mid summer, when I started have filtering issues (and before I found this site,) I replaced all my sand. There was a layer of really nasty gunk on top of the sand that I couldn't identify. A small percentage of that may have been the oil from the Solar Pill.

    This year, I'm going with a solid solar blanket, and I'll hope the kids can get it on and off by themselves.
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    As I note in this post, HeatSavr is likely to be cetyl alcohol so would not be an oil or a wax. Some other products might use paraffin and be a problem, but HeatSavr shouldn't have the same problems. A traditional solar blanket will still be far more effective, however.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Wouldn't the wax/oil products also catch and hold dust? Besides the wind issues we have, year round, I imagine my pool would have a semi-opaque layer, from the captured and held in dust, soon after it was introduced to the pool.

    gg=alice
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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    It seems reasonable that the surface layer would collect dust, but since it is constantly running through the filter, I never noticed a problem. In my case it had a very minor positive impact, but certainly wasn't worth the $30 per month. (Of course, almost nothing the pool store sold me was worth the cost, and seemed to do more harm than good. )
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Quote Originally Posted by TimS
    It seems reasonable that the surface layer would collect dust, but since it is constantly running through the filter, I never noticed a problem. In my case it had a very minor positive impact, but certainly wasn't worth the $30 per month. (Of course, almost nothing the pool store sold me was worth the cost, and seemed to do more harm than good. )


    So the "product" does go through your filter? If so, it seems to me that it would, quickly, get caught in a DE (or cellulose) filter and need to be replaced constantly, some getting caught by a skimmer sock (skimmer saver), and increase backwash intervals.?. My skimmer socks need to, or shoud be, replaced more than once daily from the dust/silt, as it is or they start getting sucked through the skimmer basket openings which decreases their useful "life".

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    TimS's Avatar
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    Since it sits on top of the water, if you are running the skimmer, it's going to go through the filter. I don't know how well a DE or cellulose filter would grab this stuff. It is really thin, and seems about the same consistency as water. You add it through the skimmer in the first place, and there isn't a prohibition on the package against any particular filter. You do need to refresh it monthly, so it's going somewhere, but I don't know if it eventually evaporates, gets caught in the filter, breaks down, or where it goes.

    At any rate, it didn't seem to have a negative impact on the look of the pool, or the feel of the water as far as we could tell.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    How would one remove the "oily clear layer"

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    Re: Liquid solar pool

    It gets broken down and filtered out over time. Just give it time and it'll go away.
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